Hip-hop artist and Blue Bloods actor Eric B. has been released on bail after two weeks in custody over an old bench warrant, leaving him anxious about his future on the CBS drama. The Eric B. & Rakim rapper, whose real name is Eric Barrier, was held at the Bergen County Jail in New Jersey since Oct. 28 on a 2002 warrant issued after he failed to appear at a sentencing hearing 17 years ago.
The arrest came just days after Barrier appeared in a Blue Bloods episode, leaving him "literally at wits' end and overcome with anxiety" over his future on the show, his attorney, Patrick Toscano, wrote in a letter to a judge earlier this month, NJ.com reports.
"He advised me that his role on Blue Bloods will be compromised and he will likely have his contract voided if he is not released from the (jail) at this time to explain this entire situation to his producers/directors," Toscano wrote.
Superior Court Judge James Guida allowed Barrier, 54, to be released on bail Tuesday, saying, "I am convinced you are not a flight risk or danger to the community." The judge also raised concerns about why it took 17 years for the open warrant to be discovered. Toscano wrote that Barrier had no idea about the warrant and that he blames the 2002 no-show on his former attorney, Paul Bergrin, who is now serving multiple life sentences in prison for more than two dozen criminal counts, including murder conspiracy and racketeering.
"Mr. Bergrin told Mr. Barrier that his case was 'dismissed' because he was accepted into pre-trial intervention," Toscano wrote in a letter to the court last week. "When Mr. Barrier asked Mr. Bergrin if he was sure of that, Mr. Bergrin advised him that he definitely did not need to appear, and that Mr. Bergrin would be in court on that date to handle everything for him."
Guida ordered Barrier to pay $5,443.53 to Ridgefield Park as restitution before he could be released, according to court records.
While asking for bail, Toscano said he was 100 percent sure that Barrier would appear for the next hearing, which is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 22 — the same day he is set to appear in Delaware for his next show with Eric B. & Rakim. "My client is not Al Capone," he told the court, NJ.com reports. "He will be present in court for whatever reason from this day forward."0comments
The 2002 sentencing hearing that Barrier failed to attend came after he pleaded guilty to assault.
Barrier appeared on the Oct. 18 episode of Blue Bloods, "Another Look," as Danny Reagan's (Donnie Wahlberg) friend, Detective Mike McGee.